Bernie Grant was one of the UK’s first black politicians. He was a councillor in the late 1970s and rose to the position of leader of the council in the mid 1980s and MP for Tottenham in 1987. In 1989 he established the Parliamentary Black Caucus, dedicated to the advancement of opportunities for the UK’s ethnic minority communities.
History of the Centre
The Centre, designed by David Adjaye OBE and opened in 2007, was set up to showcase the best of local, national and international artistic talents.
Bernie first proposed the idea of creating a flagship venue to promote BAME arts, for arts related training and enterprise in 1994, his aim being to help with the social, economic and physical regeneration of Tottenham. The idea was for the centre to be accessible to all, to provide hi-tech facilities for emerging creative businesses and for the local community to participate and take pride in the centre.
The centre was one of the Mayor of London’s “Mayoral Projects” and was pinpointed by Haringey Council as using culture to celebrate diversity, to improve the quality of life for communities and to transform Tottenham.
The centre bears the name of Tottenham’s late legendary black MP Bernie Grant (1944 – 2000), whose vision for a fairer Britain and a fairer world inspired him to embark on creating this space.
It is his legacy to showcase and encourage creative and culturally diverse talent based locally, nationally and internationally.
The BGAC aims to be a nationally and internationally recognised centre for the development of diverse cultural and creative practitioners, which has a demonstrably positive impact on the quality of life of local communities.
The vision of the centre is to make a substantial contribution to the social and economic regeneration of Tottenham.
The Bernie Grant Arts Centre staff are committed to providing a centre of excellence in the area of training, education and learning, and arts and cultural diversity.
We develop projects with partners of regional, national and international significance, and are recognised locally as being of high value to the community.
Support & Funding
Organisations that support and fund the Bernie Grant Arts Centre include Arts Council England, Haringey Council, The National Lottery Millennium Commission, European Regional Development Fund, the London Development Agency, and New Deal of the Mind.
There are many ways you can support us, such as volunteering, making a donation or becoming a friend of Bernie Grant.
Volunteer at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre!
If you are interested in a career in the arts, there is no better way to gain experience then volunteering in one of the UK’s most vibrant and exciting venues.
From programming through to technical and front of house there are volunteer opportunities all over the centre.
Bernie Grant Arts Centre was designed by David Adjaye OBE and opened in 2007. The centre was built on the site of a disused Victorian swimming baths, and was designed to spread its activities over three buildings.
The design allows flexibility to accommodate a range of artistic forms from theatre and dance company performances to gallery display space.
With a 274 seat auditorium, 60 seat studio/rehearsal space, café/bar, there are no competitors with BGAC in the locality and no other venue in the vicinity of Tottenham has a performing arts facility of a comparable standard.
We have also recently created a new multi-purpose space for dance and other activities, which is also our new 36 seat cinema lounge.